Stout Manchester United defense visits resurgent Sevilla
- Author: Angelo Rivera Feb 22, 2018,
Feb 22, 2018, 0:55
Scott McTominay 7 - A very encouraging Champions League knockout debut for the youngster: displayed his discipline by following Ever Banega around the pitch and generally looked comfortable on the big stage. "I don't even like the fact that the player that cost X millions doesn't have the same responsibility as the player that cost three times X", Mourinho told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
"(It) means you have to defend well, have the physical conditions to go to the other box, where you have to be good at scoring, creating, heading and then, when your team loses the ball, you have to go to the other box", said Mourinho.
Reports in the French press emerged last week that Pogba is unhappy with the role given to him by Mourinho, in particular the defensive demands imposed by the Portuguese.
"But for the moment, I think we have to just focus on the very hard opponent [Sevilla] and the first match of this two-legged knockout tie - a match that doesn't decide anything but is very important".
With Mourinho's team news in mind, here we take a look at three ways they could line up at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Mourinho made a decision to leave Pogba out of his starting line-up, despite the Frenchman being back in the squad after illness had kept him out of United's FA Cup win at Huddersfield Town.
He also missed Saturday's game at Huddersfield Town due to illness, but trained in Manchester before flying to Seville.
But that has proved tricky in trying to accommodate United's best players.
Meanwhile, Vincenzo Montella could hardly contain himself at the prospect of coaching again in the Champions League. Yet, considering 36-year-old Michael Carrick played the full 90 minutes against Huddersfield at the weekend and Marouane Fellaini remains injured, Herrera represents the most experienced option in central midfield. The absences of Rojo and Jones could make the team a bit shorthanded at the back, but the return of Eric Bailly should ease some of those concerns.
There is a sense the 4-2-3-1 system has become stale for United after a decent amount of success with it earlier in the campaign.
"I felt Mourinho sent out some slightly mixed messages, slightly cryptic messages, and the opinions among the journalists were certainly split over whether Paul Pogba would start tonight". The arrival of Alexis Sanchez seems to have disrupted the flow of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, while the Pogba position debate continues to rage.
United will need key men performing at the peak of their powers if they are to challenge for that prize in the future, while interest in star turns must be fended off. He was substituted by Mourinho after disappointing displays in recent defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.
Of all the predicted line-ups it's perhaps the most rogue, but Mourinho has been known to spring a surprise or two in his time.